Pasco school district challenges state's class size count
Expecting to miss the mark, the Pasco County School Board set aside $215,000 to cover anticipated state class size fines. Officials were thrilled to learn they might not face any penalty at all, thanks to state law revisions that let districts use school averages for "schools of choice" -- a designation that Pasco quickly gave to all its schools.
So when the state issued its class size report and found Pasco schools just one student over, district officials might have celebrated.
They also got busy trying to prove that the one student overage was a mistake. This week, superintendent Kurt Browning filed an appeal with the Department of Education.
He noted that while the eighth grader in question was in a class of 23 students -- one over the permitted 22 students for fourth through eighth grade core classes -- the student was enrolled in a tenth-grade geometry course at a high school. High school courses have a cap of 25 students.
As a result, Browning contended, the district actually did not violate the amendment and its laws.
The department will review the appeals in January, and has until February to report its findings to the Legislative Budget Commission. See Pasco's appeal here.